European Union Chief Says Next Week Will Be The Decision of Ukraine's EU Membership

European Union Chief Says Next Week Will Be The Decision of Ukraine's EU Membership
European Union Chief Says Next Week Will Be The Decision of Ukraine's EU Membership

International Military - The European Union is finalizing an assessment on whether to recommend Ukraine for membership which will be announced next week. This was stated by the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

During a surprise visit to the capital Kiev, von der Leyen met with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday and told him of discussions about whether to recommend Ukraine as a candidate for membership.

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That step will only be the first step in a long process. Ukraine will learn by the end of next week whether it can start the process of joining the European Union. As Al Jazeera reports, all 27 EU governments must agree to grant Ukraine candidate status, after which there will be extensive talks about necessary reforms before Kiev can be considered for membership.

Previously, Zelensky had urged the country to immediately enter the European Union as a way to reduce Ukraine's geopolitical vulnerabilities following Russia's invasion on February 24. But officials and leaders in the bloc warn, even with nomination status, actual EU membership could take years or even decades.

Von der Leyen, on his second trip to Kiev since the start of the Russian offensive, reminded Zelensky that despite progress in administrative reforms and elsewhere, much remains to be done. "You have done a lot in strengthening the rule of law, but there is still a need to implement reforms, to fight corruption, for example," he told a joint news conference with the Ukrainian leader.

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Joining the EU is a process that usually takes years and requires meeting stringent criteria ranging from economic stability to fighting corruption to respect for human rights. Despite objections among several member states, EU leaders are expected to agree on Ukraine's candidate status at a summit on June 23-24, albeit on firm terms.

Zelensky told the same briefing, “All of Europe is the target of Russia, and Ukraine is only the first stage in this aggression. "This is why the EU's positive response to Ukraine's application for membership can be a positive answer to the question of whether the European project has any future at all," Zelensky said.

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